Chemotherapy And Its Side Effects


Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment that is intended to kill cancer cells in the body. All types of chemotherapy have the potential for side effects, some of which can be serious. Different drugs can cause different side effects, so ask your healthcare provider about the particular drugs you will be taking. Most of the side effects of chemotherapy are temporary, with some exceptions.

The more common side effects from chemotherapy include:

hair loss
nausea and vomiting
low blood cell counts, which may result in an increased susceptibility to infection or increased risk of bleeding
premature menopause

While these side effects are certainly difficult, there are effective practical strategies for dealing with them when they occur. Various types of medication can help reduce or prevent nausea, vomiting, and low blood counts. There are excellent wigs and hats available to conceal hair loss.

Dealing with the emotional issues of side effects is much different. It helps to talk with someone who has had chemotherapy — about how they got through it. You can call the 24-hour Y-ME National Breast Cancer Hotlines.


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